Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole

A headstone over grave commemorates Wagner, a well known aborigine of the district and recognised bellman of Victor Harbor in the 19th century.

DEATH OF AN OLD ABORIGINAL.-Victor Harbor May 12 1897.
Another old identity passed away yesterday at the age of about 64. Visitors to Victor Harbor will have a keen recollection of "Old Wagner." Wagner was very popular among visitors and local people. He was the recognised bellman of the town. Whenever there was an entertainment in the Institute Hall, "Wag" might be seen with white waistcoat, longtailed coat with a flower in his buttonhole, and these surmounted by the inevitable bell-topper, promenading the streets ringing his bell. If now and then he took a "wee drop" that was the fault of the whites. He was a great diver and narrowly escaped losing his life three or four years ago when he struck his head on a rock. The Port Victor footballers have lost an energetic supporter and "barracker" for although he never learned to play as the younger natives do, he was sure to be on the spot if a match were on, and bell-topper and all would rush up and down the lines with the club colours shouting lustily "Go it Ports, go it." Wagner's wife who is deaf and dumb survives him. His last words spoken to Hamilton, another native were "Take care of my old woman." There are a good many natives encamped here just now, but the race is rapidly dying out.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 13th May 1897. 

At the cemetery yesterday afternoon a tablet to commemorate one of the best known aborigines of the district was unveiled.  Wagner was referred to in the late C. E. Hodge's book "Encounter Bay."  Although there is no record of the date of Wagner's death, it is believed that he died over 20 years ago. The district clerk of Encounter Bay (Mr. A. H. Warland) originated the movement for the erection of the tablet. The chairman of the Encounter Bay District Council (Mr. H. E. Welch) presided at the ceremony this afternoon.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 22 November 1948.




Address:Finniss Road, Victor Harbor Cemetery, Victor Harbor, 5211
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.540634
Long: 138.603026
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 21st November, 1948
Front Inscription

In memoriam of Wagner

An Aboriginee

Everybody`s friend

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design